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Up All Night, Whitney: NBC Sitcoms Get Full Seasons; A Mistake?

Whitney TV seriesNBC hasn’t been having much luck this fall season. Returning shows are down and most new TV series have been a disappointment (The Playboy Club’s already cancelled).

The brightest spot on the schedule has been Whitney on Thursday nights. The sitcom’s the second highest-rated show on the network with a 2.9 average in the 18-49 demographic. Still, it lost 24% in the demo between weeks one and two and could certainly keep falling.

Another new sitcom, Up All Night, has been averaging a 2.7 in the demo after three weeks on the air. It’s the third highest-rated scripted show on NBC but it has lost viewers each week, most recently pulling a 2.1 in the demo.

These shows are hardly hits and may keep falling. It seems strange that NBC would give them full seasons after so few epsiodes but the network probably doesn’t have much choice. The rest of their schedule is performing very poorly and they have to air something to at least try to be competitive.

If you’re a fan of either of these shows, it’s important to remember that, while these full season orders could be seen as a vote of confidence, Whitney and Up All Night could still easily end up being cancelled in May.

Here’s the press release from NBC:

NBC GIVES FULL-SEASON PICKUPS TO NEW COMEDIES “UP ALL NIGHT” AND “WHITNEY”

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – October 4, 2011 – NBC has picked up the new comedies “Up All Night” and “Whitney” for the remainder of the 2011-12 season, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment.

“We made comedy an important goal for us this season and I’m very pleased to be making full-season commitments to both ‘Whitney’ and ‘Up All Night’,” said Greenblatt. “We’re thrilled with the creative direction of both shows as well as the potential for them to continue to build loyal audiences over the coming months. We’re proud of all of the producers, writers, actors, and directors who have worked so hard to bring these shows to life.”

“Up All Night,” created by Emmy Award nominee Emily Spivey (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and “Saturday Night Live”) and executive-produced by multi-Emmy winner Lorne Michaels (NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock”), is an irreverent look at modern parenthood.

Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”) stars as Reagan Brinkley: loving wife, successful career woman, life of the party and, most recently, mom. Determined not to compromise her career or cool reputation to the clich├ęs of motherhood, Reagan adjusts to life with a baby and returns to work with the support of her stay-at-home husband, Chris (Will Arnett, “Arrested Development”).

As Reagan and Chris figure out their new life, self-doubt, sleep deprivation and the pressure of today’s parenting protocols rattle their confidence. What’s more, the endless needs of Reagan’s boss, ambitious but vulnerable talk-show host Ava (Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live,” “Bridesmaids”), threaten to throw Reagan off balance.

“Up All Night” is a Broadway Video and Universal Television production. Along with Michaels and Spivey, Jon Pollack (“30 Rock”) and Erin David (“Saturday Night Live”) serve as executive producers. Christina Applegate, Eric Kranzler and Andrew Singer are producers. Said Entertainment Weekly: “The season’s most charming yet frenetic new sitcom…” It is listed under “5 Best New Shows.”

NBC’s new multi-camera comedy “Whitney” is a hilarious look at modern-day love, which centers around Whitney (Whitney Cummings, “Chelsea Lately”) and Alex (Chris D’Elia, “Glory Daze”), a happily unmarried couple. Together for three years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched, which seems to get a mixed response from their friends. Said Newsday:”…it’s refreshingly authentic, and distinctively Whitney, with her new-generation perspective and brisk verbal rhythms.”

Whitney’s close circle of girlfriends includes on one side: Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, “The Other Guys”), a romantic idealist who loves being in love, and on the other: Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, “The Starter Wife”), a recent divorcee who is practical, cynical, and dreading being single again. Lily and Roxanne’s opposing points of view only exacerbate Whitney’s own complicated outlook on relationships.

Completing their close-knit group is Neal (Maulik Pancholy, NBC’s “30 Rock”), a real modern day Renaissance man – sensitive, cool and knows a little bit about everything and happens to be dating Lily. On the other end of the spectrum is Whitney and Alex’s next-door neighbor Mark (Dan O’Brien, “How I Met Your Mother”), a police officer and total bachelor, who claims to be the ultimate player, but likes to talk a good game.

At the end of the day, Whitney and Alex try to have a relationship on their own terms – in a world that expects a more traditional approach.

“Whitney” is produced by Universal Television in association with Stuber Pictures. Stuber (“The Break Up”), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas (“My Boys”) and Barry Katz (“Last Comic Standing”) are executive producers along with Cummings and executive producer/writer Andy Ackerman (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”), who directed the pilot. For embeddable clips and full episodes from NBC shows, please visit NBC.com’s official show site: http://www.nbc.com/shows/.

What do you think? Was it smart to give these shows full seasons? Do you watch either or both?

 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

shawn May 16, 2012 at 9:45 am

Up all night is pretty funny, Whitney is not funny at all. The jokes are horrible and the whole premise for the show is something that would’ve been old 30 or 40 years ago. An unmarried couple living together; oh my goodness. Is this a comedy show for regular people or or for Mennonites? They brought the Malcolm in the Middle’s mother, which is the one that got that show cancelled for demanding a huge amount of money, she got it and the show ended a year later, but this is the most unfunny thing she has ever done. Her character, like most of the other characters says the worst unfunny things you’ve ever heard but there is an annoying laugh track to try to tell you that believe it or not these are the jokes folks, otherwise you would only here crickets chirping. Shows like this are dead. Community, The office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and Up all Night are the type of show and how they’re filmed is the way to go for NBC. Those are the funny and good quality shows. Nobody except maybe people that watch CBS want to watch shows like Friends, Fraizer, or Will and Grace anymore. They look to cheap made and the jokes don’t mesh with most poeple under 65 in this day and age. While NBC is at it they can take the Universal part back off from their name because it’s really lame. Comcast is doing a horrible job with all of the NBC affiliated channels and running practically all of them into the ground.

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cathy October 30, 2011 at 6:41 pm

First 2 episodes – hilarious!!! Been going downhill since. It’s the same old storyline – they have a disagreement and Whitney proves she’s right. Can’t they do something with her boyfriend’s hair?

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Ross October 29, 2011 at 8:50 am

NO, I AM NOT HAPPY WITH WHITNEY, IT SHOULD’VE BEEN CANCELLED AFTER 13 EPISODES! But I am satisfied with Up All Night.

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